New Research on Disparities in U.S. Hospitals

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<p>Research has shown that minority patients tend to have primary care physicians with less clinical training, see specialists with poorer clinical outcomes, and seek care at lower-performing hospitals than do white patients. But when minority patients and white patients seek care at the same hospital, they receive the same standard of care, a new Commonwealth Fund-supported study shows.<br><br>"More attention needs to be devoted to eliminating disparities in quality across hospitals rather than within hospitals," said the authors of the <em>Health Affairs</em> study, "<a href="/publications/in-the-literature/2008/mar/do-hospitals-provide-lower-quality-care-to-minorities-than-to-whites
">Do Hospitals Provider Lower-Quality Care to Minorities Than to Whites?,</a> who were led by the University of Maryland's Darrell J. Gaskin, Ph.D.<br><br>Also in the new issue of <em>Health Affairs,</em> Brian D. Smedley of the Opportunity Agenda offers a policy framework for state efforts to reduce disparities. Smedley, whose research was supported by the Fund, says "eliminating health care inequality requires more than simply expanding insurance coverage." The framework, discussed in "<a href="">Moving Beyond Access: Achieving Equity In State Health Care Reform</a>," addresses health care access and quality, state health care infrastructure, patient and community empowerment, state policy infrastructure, and social and community determinants of health.</p>